Lentehop is an American style IPA, from a Dutch brouwerij (brewery) called De Molen. Like many great beers from that part of the world, it’s brewed in an old mill a mere 171 years older than Canada. Unlike many of those beers, it’s own history spans a little over a single decade. While it’s housings might give it instant credibility I’m inclined to criticize, brewers here in Canada should take note. Specifically Molson, who sold Molson House, a 50 year old fort near my house in Edmonton rather than making use of it in what would have easily been the most interesting place to drink in Alberta. But I digress.
Lentehop. It pours cloudy and golden, with a fairly substantial head. There is very little nose, just a hint of hops. I taste hops, certainly, but also some light citrus and pine. This IPA is surprisingly refreshing and fairly crisp.
I probably won’t go hunting specifically for it, but I would drink Lentehop from De Molen again.
Brouwerij ’t IJ Zatte is a triple, clocking in at a very acceptable 8%. What can I say, I like effective beer. It pours a golden colour, with almost no head. I smelled citrus right off the bat, with a bit of hops behind it.
Once you get to drinking it, it’s dry but sweet. I tasted fruit, but also hops, yeast and spice. As with the previous beers I’ve had from Brouwerij’t IJ, it’s very complex, but impeccably balanced.
I thank Scott for the beer, and I would happily drink this again. Preferably with Scott. In the brewery.
Brouwerij ’t IJ hails from Amsterdam, and brews many types of beer. All of them are top fermented, and a few of them, including the Columbus, is 100% organic. If you ever get a chance to visit Amsterdam, you would do well to stop in at this brewery, not only for fine beer, but to view the impressive windmill that houses Brouwerij ’t IJ.
Columbus, aside from being 100% organic, hits your glass at 9%, pours golden and cloudy. I smell a bit of sourness and hops, as well as some spice. The flavour is complex, but it drinks much brighter than I expected based on the smell. I don’t taste much alcohol for the high percentage. There is a creaminess that balances the sourness of the hops.
I don’t think I could session this beer, but I’ll definitely drink it again whenever I get the chance!
Thanks again to Scott for the recommendation, the bottle of beer, and delivery!
I have long wanted to get my hands on a Trappist Westvleteren beer. Westvleteren, located in West Flanders Belgium, is the smallest and most secretive of the Trappist brewers. Not only is their beer itself scarce because of the small production, but anyone wishing to purchase beer can only buy it in limited amounts, and even then, only from the monks themselves. They sell only to individual customers who agree not to resell the beer. People have been caught and prosecuted for doing so.
I’ve long had my eye on this beer, and long worried that I’d never see it, let alone have a chance to drink it. But I have great friends, and through them my proverbial ship came in this past Christmas. Impossibly huge thanks goes out to Kevin & Cath!
I stress at this time that this beer was a gift. I didn’t buy it or sell it. I did, however, share it.
The first thing to note is the bottle. Simple. Brown. No label. The only identification is the cap.
The beer pours nicely, with beautiful colour. It’s fairly cloudy. The first big surprise was the smell. As is often the case with good beer and especially Trappist beer, the smell and the taste don’t always match up. I smelled fruit, predominantly cherry, and spice.
Tasting Westvleteren 8 was an absolute pleasure. It was so well balanced. The cherry and spice that I smelled came through, but I also picked up hints of caramel and toasted malt. There was certainly more, but I’ll admit that in the face of the Westvleteren 8 my palette is probably out of it’s depth. This beer drinks a bit sweet, but finishes dry.
I’m not sure when I’ll have my hands on another bottle of this rare and incredible beer, but you can bet that some time in the future I will drink Westvleteren 8 again. Even if it means hunting for seat sales.
As you can see from the Garrison Brewing site itself, this IPA has won Beer of the Year twice at the Canadian Brewing Awards. If you check other beer review sites, you’ll see some decent ratings. All of this leads up to a really nice review here. Or at least it should. Besides, shouldn’t I be pro Canadian beer?
I fancy myself an IPA lover. I’m always eager to try a new one. The Garrison Imperial just didn’t measure up for me. I didn’t even find it overly hoppy. While some great IPAs come across as complex, this just came across as confused.
My advice would be to check out something from Brew Dog like their Hardcore IPA, or even track down the Jockamo we reviewed here in October 2011.
As for the Garrison Imperial IPA, I probably won’t drink it again. Especially with so many great IPA’s popping up all over the place these days.
I’m certainly not the first to suggest you add beer to your next brunch menu, but I’m happy to jump on the bandwagon. More and more you’ll see suggestions for pairings, recommending beers that will cut through the often salt laden food or balancing the richness of eggs benedict.
Me, I’ll keep it simple, and suggest that you take a walk into champagne beer with Malheur Biere Brut. I’ve brunched with it twice now, and I’m sure I’ll track down another bottle for a another future brunch.
I haven’t always been a big fan of Alley Kat brewery. There are definitely some positives. They’re local, and try to source their ingredients locally as much as possible. They make a pretty good effort to keep waste to a minimum. They’re also Edmonton’s longest running Microbrewery, which is a pretty big deal. Another of our author’s here (Blaine, for those paying attention) had a chance to hear Neil Herbst speak at a Beer Geek’s Anonymous event and touched on it in this post. For my money, Alley Kat’s offerings have always tasted a bit too much home brew and not quite enough craft brew.
I’m happy to report that my opinion is changing.
Alley Kat has started producing their Big Bottle series, which are limited runs released in 650mL bottles. The current offering is Fresh Hop Full Moon pale ale, which isn’t to be confused with their Full Moon pale ale. The fresh hops make all the difference.
This ale pours with nice clarity and a good head. The hops are nicely present up front, beginning a bit piney but ending up with a bit of citrus. The flavour leans towards bitter, but not as much as in an IPA. In that sense it might be a nice gateway beer for those interested in exploring the hoppy side of beer.
I think the difference in this beer can be tied right back to the title. Freshness. The fresh hops lend flavour and depth, which make for a much more interesting beer.
I’ll close this post up by telling you that I love this beer. I will gladly drink it again. In a limited edition sense. To combat that, I already have a few more bottles in the fridge.